Thu 5 Mar 2020 | 06:28

Zondagh: Box those pesky kicks

Zondagh: Box those pesky kicks
Thu 5 Mar 2020 | 06:28
Zondagh: Box those pesky kicks

OPINION: Respected rugby wizard Alan Zondagh has made some more thoughtful suggestions of changes to the Laws of Rugby Football.


In the first article, we gave his suggestions for the TMO, referee communication, the tackle, the ruck, the maul and the use of sanctionary cards, yellow or red.

Here is more of what Zondagh has to suggest – discouraging wasteful box kicks and then the tough issue of the scrum – tough because fear of injury has resulted in caution and the slowing down of a game meant to be dynamic. In one Six Nations match this year, the first two scrums each lasted four minutes. That’s 8 minutes for two scrum, 10% of the match’s time.

****Please, note: None of these suggestions is currently law. All of these suggestions are just that – suggestions.

5. Box kicks

Need: To minimise box kicking and poor kicking there are 2 options:

5.1 Any box kick by the first receiver at a ruck or maul the receiving player has a 5m radius (no go area for attacking side) to collect the ball.


Reason: Safety for the catcher. Will minimise penalties and dangerous play. The box kick has become a boring and monotonous part of the game.

5.2 This law does not apply from any other phase in the game.
Reason: It allows for good intelligent tactical kicking as well as the aerial kick pass.


5.3 Defending side calls “mark” anywhere on the field when catching an aerial kick. The catcher is allowed to catch the ball while in the air or with feet on the ground.


Free kick on the mark.

Options: tap and play, kick the ball or scrum on the mark.

Reason: This will minimise poor and monotonous kicking and will improve intelligent tactical kicking.

6. The scrum – too many resets

6.1 The set-up of the scrum
* Referee calls the mark.
* Hooker of team throwing in the ball stands on the mark. Packs consolidate.
* Referee indicates the position for the defending props (safe distance from attacking props).
* Referee calls “crouch”. Packs ready for contact.
* Attacking hooker calls “YES” and front rows (with their packs) make contact.
* Scrumhalf puts the ball in asap.
* Scrumhalf has to put the ball in straight. In line with the shoulders of the props.
* Both hookers have an opportunity to hook the ball.

To stop wasting time to set the scrums.
To speed up play and to simplify the calling system.

There are too many penalties at scrum time currently.


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